Benjamin Percy writes to FWR about RopeWalk, where he taught earlier this month:
Historic New Harmony, Indiana, was the site of two nineteenth century utopian experiments, and in the same spirit, the The RopeWalk Writers Retreat offers up a small slice of heaven. Here, a competitively chosen pool of students study for a week under four prominent writers (faculty over the past few years include Andrew Hudgins, Erin McGraw, Sigrid Nunez, Lee Martin, Marianne Boruch, Kyoko Mori, among others). There are workshops and panels and readings and one-on-one conferences — the standard fare — but unlike other conferences, no one gets lost in the numbers at RopeWalk. The workshops are intimate (with ten students, sometimes fewer) so every manuscript is discussed with thoughtful intimacy. In no time, everyone seems like an old pal. And unlike other conferences, at RopeWalk there seems to be a healthy blend of fun and work: students spend as much time in inspired conversation as they do in inspired congress with the keyboard. As for the town, it is as curious as it is idyllic: participants can wander through a labyrinth, hike along the Wabash River, enjoy yoga at the roofless church, down a pint and eat a brain sandwich at the Yellow Tavern, and tour a museum that includes a baby coffin, a two-headed calf, and the skeleton of a 38-year-old horse named Old Fly. To learn more about the retreat, click here.